Lunch Menu #2

tuna sandwich with pea shoots-2

Photo and text by Lindsey Johnson.

For Menu #2 in our Lunch Box Series, it’s all about the brown bag, baby! Everything in this lunch is recyclable or compostable — nothing to bring home. This is ideal for events like field trip days when students don’t always have their backpacks handy for carrying home lunchboxes. It also works great if you don’t happen to have reusable lunch gear on hand.

I kind of went old school with the tuna on wheat, but added a little twist that my oldest daughter loves — pea shoots, also called sprouts.  They are crunchy and fresh and taste like sweet, just-picked peas. If you can’t find the pea shoots, substitute baby spinach or another kind of sprout.

tuna sandwich with pea shoots

– Tuna sandwich on wheat bread with pea shoots/sprouts
– Cinnamon applesauce (no sugar added)
– Clementine
– Baby cheese wheel
– Snack size chocolate bar
– Bottled water


– Another great thing about this menu? It partially relies on easy, store-bought items for those days when you don’t have time or when you want to make things extra easy on yourself.

– This is a lunch that older kids can put together themselves.


– Compostable utensils at Amazon.

Green napkins from IKEA.

22 thoughts on “Lunch Menu #2”

  1. I love this classic lunch just be sure to W-A-S-H very well the pea shoots/sprouts because these critters carry small bugs!!! Yes of all the critters in the lettuce family these boys need to be washed. I grew up on farm so I know this 1st hand:O)

  2. I love this classic tuna sandwich. however be sure to wash well the sprouts!!!!
    very easy for bugs to stay on after a quick rinse… no because I grew up on a farm:0)

    1. Completely agree Sadie – I was surprised to see bottled water included. Many a good post in this series would be best water bottles for kids.

      1. Some teachers require there to be nothing left to bring home after lunch on class field trips so a bottle that can be thrown away is necessary.

        1. Yep, we’ve encountered this requirement on many field trips. It’s the only time I would use a bottle like this but you gotta do what you gotta do.

          1. As a teacher that policy drives me crazy! How hard is it to really pack up the bags and return with them? As a teacher I always ask parents to engage in conversation with me if there is something they would like done differently. Ask them what message they are really sharing with the students!

    1. Great question! At my kids’ school they put their lunches into a cooler for field trips, so I’m pretty confident that everything is kept cool enough so it doesn’t spoil. Now, if it were just for a regular school lunch, I pack an ice pack. Actually we have a really great lunch bag that I’ll feature in a later post that is an ice pack itself. It’s really cool. :)

  3. I am little bummed to here you call the meal “recyclable or compostable” when that plastic bottle of water is staring at me. I would have liked to seen a reusable water bottle instead of the pricey (and yucky plastic) single use bottle. I am a big fan of glass water bottles from which are made kid friendly with a silicone covers.

  4. Yes, disappointed with the water bottle here, too. My daughter’s school has moved to allowing children to bring their reusable water bottles to field trips. The lunches are carried to the field trip, so carrying the bottles back is not that big of a deal. I know why teachers would prefer to not have to worry about things getting lost on the road, but that is not as important as reducing/eliminating the use of plastic water bottles. The fact that they are recyclable does not excuse the fact that they are completely overused.

  5. Makayla Sampson

    I am guilty of using water bottles too. However, my son, just came home from a lesson taught at our church by a college professor, about how companies who manufacture bottled water, are slowly using up the fresh water supplies in the world, and also are slowly creating the market where only those who can afford it, can get drinking water. He also said that plastic in water bottles is difficult to recycle. He has convinced me to seek out water containers that aren’t throw away, and to use water from the tap, since its the same thing.
    How do you keep the tuna sandwhich cold?

    1. Thanks for the great comment. So much info here!

      In an above comment I said that the school does bring a cooler with them for the kids’ lunches. But if I’m just sending it to school on a normal day, we use an ice pack or a special lunch bag.

  6. I just wanted to chime in about the plastic water bottle. I think that sometimes we have no choice. I have some that I reuse for various things and if sent to school (because of school or teacher policy) on its 3 or 4th use and then recycled, I’m not too stressed about it.
    The other option is to use the small rubbermaid water/juice box bottles. They have the same volume as a juice box and are small enough to put in a jacket pocket when finished. I have been sending these now for 8 years.
    As for keeping the lunch cold, I would only fill the water less full and then freeze it. It will be defrosted by lunch and the lunch will be fresh.

  7. Haha! This is a delicious lunch! Love all the comments about the plastic water bottle…sheesh, we use just as much energy/waste in a day taking showers/driving cars/etc. Not saying we shouldn’t reduce and reuse! Just saying sometimes we have to cut people a break.

    A great way for schools to encourage reusable water bottles? Add water filtering/filling stations (instead of or beside all water fountains) like my college did! Not only does it encourage less germ transfer (water fountain germs…’yum’….) but it also gives students a great, easy, fun way to use their reusable bottles!

  8. World Centric compostable utensils are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE for school lunches!! I hate to send my kids with “real” utensils in case one gets lost or accidentally tossed in the trash as they hurridly clear their spot. These hold up so well. I wash and re-use them (I throw them in the dishwasher and they come out perfectly.) My kids use them over and over in school lunches – but if one happens to not come home, I’m not so sad. After many, many washes a fork’s tines might start to bend a little and then we put them in our compost. I actually go out of my way to only buy these over any other form of “disposable” utensils.

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